While students were enjoying the day off on Election Day, the LVCSD faculty came together for specialized training to help them improve professionally and personally, which in turn helps the students. Administrators, teachers, teaching assistants and clerical staff attended a seminar at the high school led by mindfulness teacher Cory Muscara.

The program focused on reducing stress, gaining focus, dealing with difficult people and learning to perceive things in a positive light, rather than a negative one. Mindfulness is a practice that calms the body and mind through breathing and movement. It can help teachers react better to difficult classroom situations, and practicing it with students can possibly create positive classroom atmospheres where previously there was more tension.

Attendees were led through several short meditations, taught how to clear their minds and how to eliminate stressors. Many employees took the opportunity to ask Muscara questions at the end of the session, learning how to use mindfulness in more specific education situations.

Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund, Superintendent of Schools, said she hopes the staff will practice the techniques they learned. “The goal was to give them tools to manage their daily stress and improve their overall classroom atmosphere, and the overall response from the staff was very positive.”